The Department of Defence (DoD) maintains its facilities are “generally in a fair state” and their condition is such they do not impact “negatively on the department’s service mandate”.
During the 2018/19 financial year the DoD allocated over R365 million to refurbishment of military facilities. This funding saw completion of six refurbishment projects as well as work on another 30 out of 45 planned refurbishment projects. The money allocated was 57% of that set aside for refurbishment. The under-achievement is put down to “supply chain management challenges in the national Department of Public Works” as well as “challenges experienced with a number of appointed contractors.
There is one acquisition among the provincial list of upgrades and refurbishment work for regular units in the four services, that of Defence Foreign Relations. It will see a “10 bedroom residential house” in Johannesburg become DoD property to be utilised by Defence Intelligence. The DoD annual report has it that a planning instruction was issued and the task is expected “to be completed in 2019”.
Among projects either completed or commenced in the financial year under review are upgrading of 3 Military Hospital at Tempe; upgrading of eight buildings at the DoD mobilisation centre outside Bloemfontein; upgrade and refurbishment of the AFB Bloemspruit sickbay; construction of a new security fence and main entrance canopy at Wynberg military base in Cape Town; perimeter fence replacement at SAS Wingfield; refurbishment of main kitchen at SAS Salisbury Island and upgrading of “critical accommodation facilities” at the same base; site clearance for construction of a security fence around 93 Ammunition Depot at Jam Kempdorp, Kimberley; power supply upgrade at 46 SA Army Brigade in Kensington, Johannesburg; erection of a security fence at 4 Special Forces Regiment headquarters, Langebaan and upgrade and construction of a new sickbay at 4 SAI Battalion, Middelburg, Mpumalanga.
In the military capital Thaba Tshwane the relocated National Ceremonial Guard is getting a new kitchen while northern military police headquarters is in line for new perimeter security fence installations and stores.
In the Limpopo capital Polokwane rehabilitation of “the entire Karee military base” is at the design stage with completion expected in 2022.